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Nellie Stewart

Nellie Stewart

Nellie (1935-2012) was born in the bush at Pipalyatjara, her father’s country. Her mother is from Irrunytju and is Kuntjil Cooper’s older sister. As a young girl Nellie attended school at the Ernabella mission and later worked in Alice Springs teaching Pitjantjatjara language with her husband. She began painting in 2007 when she moved to Nyapari with her family. Nellie Stewart was a senior Pitjantjatjara woman who only began painting in 2007. She had an intuitive feeling for painting, drawing on her deep cultural connection to her country associated with the Tjukurpa of Minyma Kutjara (the Two Sisters Creation story) from Irrunytju. Her works are bold and colourful landscapes depicting country traversed by the two Ancestral women. Landmarks created by their epic journeying and activities embody a spiritual essence, which is captured in her paintings. Nellie Stewart creates artworks of classical simplicity, based on her major Irruntyju- centred thématique of the Two Sisters Dreaming. Stewart’s luscious, gestural works are characterised by bold colour juxtapositions, often comprising a limited palette of reds, mauves and orangey-reds.

Sadly, Nellie passed away at the age of 77.

(c) information supplied by Tjungu Palya Art Centre